Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
On Thursday, Aug. 12, the FDA reviewed and authorized an expansion of its emergency use authorization for the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna. This action is designed to allow immunosuppressed individuals to receive an extra dose of the vaccine.
We are closely monitoring these developments. Before we administer any additional doses of authorized vaccine, Duke experts will review all available safety and efficacy data to ensure the science supports its use. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice is meeting on Friday, Aug. 13, to review the data.
In anticipation of this expansion of emergency use authorization, we are preparing for Duke to participate in the equitable and efficient distribution of the additional dose to the immunosuppressed population. We expect to learn more during the upcoming CDC/ACIP review process about these patients, as well as specific guidance for administering an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
We are encouraged by the authorization of this additional dose to help us keep immunosuppressed patients safe and protected from COVID-19. Once the expansion is approved, we will notify all our team members, patients and the community of the qualifying criteria and how to schedule their additional dose of the vaccine. (UPDATE: The CDC has now issued criteria for those moderately to severely immunocompromised who are recommended for a third dose of the mRNA vaccine. See qualifying criteria link above.)
We hope this early information helps you understand how Duke is preparing for the distribution of the additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to the qualifying patient population once it is available. If you have questions, you can contact us at email@example.com.
Please continue to take every means to reduce the spread of infection and protect yourself, your loved ones and our Duke community. Get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces, stay at least six feet apart from others, and stay home and get tested when you are feeling ill. Thank you for all you are doing to keep yourself, your family and our community safe.
Vice President, Administration, Duke University
Carol Epling, MD, MSPH
Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health
Gail Shulby, RN, MA, CPPS
Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President, Duke Health
Cameron R. Wolfe, MBBS (Hons), MPH, FIDSA
Associate Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Duke Health
Co-Leaders of the COVID-19 Vaccination Planning Work Group